From left: Peter Deer, Jayne Biggs and Steve Williams at Fred. Olsen House
From left: Peter Deer, Jayne Biggs and Steve Williams at Fred. Olsen House

A 24-hour publicly accessible defibrillator has been installed on the gates of Fred. Olsen House in Ipswich.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Fred. Olsen Travel and Fred. Olsen Limited have worked together with local Norfolk charity Heart 2 Heart for the past nine months in a fundraising campaign to purchase this publicly accessible defibrillator.

Charity Heart 2 Heart was founded by Jayne Biggs in 2017, after her daughter, Violet, suffered a cardiac arrest aged just seven. Thankfully, Violet survived the incident, which led Jayne to undertake a mission of educating people about the importance of CPR skills and raising funds to ensure widespread availability of defibrillators.

As part of the fundraising initiative, the charity together with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has delivered CPR training for team members in the office and to crew and guests on board the ships.

Thanks to the incredible support from these sessions and fundraising events, the first defibrillator has now been made live on the National Defibrillator Network.

A further six defibrillators are to be purchased, and with the companies’ ongoing partnership they aim to get 24-hour publicly accessible defibrillators set up in their regional departure ports, travel shops and in local communities.

Peter Deer, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“Today’s installation at Fred. Olsen House marks the beginning of a series of 24-hour publicly accessible defibrillators that we have planned to install.

“Our fundraising will be continuous both shoreside and on board our fleet, with our guests taking part in CPR training – learning a new life skill – for a small donation to the charity.

“I would like to give our thanks to Jayne and to all of our team and crew members for their continued support. Also, to James Phasor Electrical for generously donating supplies, and to Sam Offord of Offord Electrical who gave his time and expertise to install the defibrillator in memory of their late friend Joe Langfield who sadly passed away in 2021.”

Jayne Biggs, founder of charity Heart 2 Heart, said:

“I’m incredibly proud today to be unveiling Fred. Olsen’s first 24/7 public defibrillator at Fred. Olsen House.

“It’s so important that defibrillators are not confined within locked premises. When someone’s life hangs in the balance, it serves no purpose to have a defibrillator inaccessible behind closed doors, out of reach for anyone in need.

“I’m so passionate about sharing this knowledge to ensure others are prepared to perform life-saving CPR when confronted with an emergency. The positive response from guests on the ships, as well as team members, has been truly inspiring and I can’t wait to continue our partnership together.

Steve Williams, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Travel suffered a heart attack in December 2021 and said:

“After experiencing a heart attack while at work 18 months ago, I know how important it is to receive medical intervention as soon as possible.

“Thankfully, I underwent a stent procedure at Ipswich Hospital and made a full recovery, however not everyone is as fortunate in such situations.

“It really is so important to have a defibrillator located outside of our gates, accessible to everyone at any time. You really never do know when it could be required.”

For more details on Heart 2 Heart, please visit their Facebook page here.

Source: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines – My Cruise Blog

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